You already know you’re on to a winner with this record when it’s coming from Nico Segal ((formerly known as Donnie Trumpet). After his excursions with Chance The Rapper on the highly acclaimed “Surf” album, Segal has formed a four-piece jazz ensemble called The JuJu.
The project sees him linking up with high school friend pianist Julian Reid, bassist Lane Beckstrom, and drummer Everett Reid. The quartet use The JuJu “as a way to build off of their past experiences in order to make a genre-bending style of music that looks to the future while dealing with the problems of the present.”
The seven-track album titled Exchange features Jamila Woods and has additional production from fellow Chance collaborator Nate Fox.
Speaking to Noisey about the record Segal explained “It’s not like we’re trying really hard to make a jazz album. Yes, if we’re putting an iTunes description on it we’ll call it jazz, but it’s really nothing like anything we’ve ever made—all four of us.” He also added, “We tried bringing to light the fact that instruments can produce sounds that people, one, want to listen to and, two, can remember and sing forever in the same way that their favourite vocalist can do.”
With one foot in Jazz and the other foot in everything else, The JuJu creates a genre-bending style of music that’s hard to classify but very easy on the ear.